Nick Faldo: Tiger Woods whispered 'I'm done' at 2017 Masters Champions Dinner

Sam Greenwood/PGA Tour Archive

Nick Faldo: Tiger Woods whispered 'I'm done' at 2017 Masters Champions Dinner

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Nick Faldo: Tiger Woods whispered 'I'm done' at 2017 Masters Champions Dinner

It’s clear the golf world understands how remarkable Tiger Woods’ comeback has been in light of his final-round 64 and runner-up finish at the PGA Championship.

But some additional perspective never hurts, especially from a six-time major champion.

Nick Faldo was talking Woods on Monday on the Dan Patrick Show when he offered a poignant anecdote from last year.

Everyone is pretty much aware Woods has had four back surgeries and dealt with plenty of pain in the process. But as Woods has posted five top 10s in official PGA Tour events in this 2018 comeback, it’s a little easy to forget just how dire his future in golf seemed very recently.

There was the Hero World Challenge press conference he had in December 2015 – soon after his third back surgery – in which he sounded hauntingly dispirited about his recovery and the odds of a comeback in golf.

“There’s really nothing I can look forward to, nothing I can build towards,” Woods said at that 2015 press conference. “It’s literally just day by day and week by week and time by time. Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? I don’t know.”

And then this…

“I think pretty much everything beyond this (14 majors and 79 wins) will be gravy,” Woods said in 2015. “If that’s all it entails, then I’ve had a pretty good run.”

What followed was an aborted comeback in late 2016, early ’17 and then a fourth back surgery last April. After that surgery, Jack Nicklaus was convinced Woods would never play again.

We offer that context to remind that Faldo’s anecdote falls in line with just how likely it seemed recently that Woods’ playing career was over.

Here was the interesting revelation he gave about how Woods appeared toast at the 2017 Masters Champions Dinner:

“What he’s been able to do, Dan, is unbelievable, remarkable,” Faldo said. “To go from a frozen back, I know he whispered to another Masters champion two Masters dinners ago, ‘I’m done. I won’t play golf again.’ And here we are 18 months later.”

A short story, but a powerful one.

Patrick followed up, wondering if Faldo was the one Woods whispered that to. The three-time Masters champ said no and added that he wouldn’t divulge the name of who it was, which is fair enough.

For good measure, Faldo added on why exactly Woods would make a comment like that.

“He was in agony. He was in pain,” Faldo said. “The pain down his legs, nothing enjoyable, he couldn’t move.”

View the full comments here:

That washed-up 41-year-old Woods? He is now 42 and heavily contended Sunday in each of the year’s final two majors.

Man, what an unfathomable journey back up it has been for Woods.

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